Saturday, April 03, 2010

Original Commentary

I've been on a bit of a Superman kick lately. If you've been reading my late-night tweets, you know that I've been watching a lot of "Lois and Clark" recently, greatly revising my opinion of the show. It actually holds up quite well, and it's a lot better than I thought it would be, based on my decade-old memories.

Between that and rereading some Superman trades, I've decided that I'd like to do a running commentary on the various origin stories that have been told over the years. Especially as "Superman: Secret Origin" is drawing to a close, I have a burning desire to revisit "Man of Steel" and (groan) "Superman: Birthright," so I might as well bring in some of the other versions as well--especially since some of them are such interesting departures (see: the radio version).

So I'm going to try another series, albeit one with an expiration date. Each week, I'd like to look at a new Superman origin, with my usual sort of commentary.

What I'm looking for from you is input: I think I've got a fairly exhaustive list of retellings of the tale, but I know there are some missing variations (in particular, I know there was one where Superman crashed to Earth in the 1960s and it speculated what his life would be like in the '90s-'00s) that I'd like to catalog. Presented here is my list of origin stories; the ones in bold are the ones that I already have access to one way or another. I'd like to limit this to official stories and main-line "imaginary stories" (i.e., no Elseworlds), but other than that, please feel free to add any versions of the story you're aware of.

Here's the list in rough chronological order:
  • Action Comics #1
  • Superman Daily Comic Strips
  • Superman #1
  • "Adventures of Superman" Radio program
  • Fleischer Superman cartoons
  • More Fun Comics #101
  • "Superman" 1948 serial
  • Superman #53
  • Superman #61
  • Action Comics #158
  • "Adventures of Superman" 1952 Series
  • Superman #146
  • "Superman" 1978 film
  • "World of Krypton" (vol 1) miniseries
  • "Superman: The Secret Years" miniseries
  • "History of the DC Universe" miniseries
  • "Man of Steel" 1986 miniseries (and related miniseries)
  • "Superman" 1987 cartoon series
  • "Superman" post-Zero Hour issues
  • "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" 1993 series
  • "Superman" 1996 Animated Series
  • "Superman: For All Seasons" miniseries
  • "Smallville" TV series (though I'm not totally sure which episodes to go to for specific origin material)
  • "Superman: Birthright" miniseries
  • "All-Star Superman"
  • "Superman: Secret Origin" miniseries

Please offer advice on amending or editing this list as necessary. I don't have an ETA for the first post on this subject, but seeing how "Action Comics #1" gives like, two pages to the origin, it'll probably be soon.

1 comment:

LurkerWithout said...

For Smallville I'd guess the origin episodes would all involve Jor-El, Braniac and/or Christopher Reeves. I'd do a search for them on sites that have episode recaps...